When to Water Your Meyer Lemon Tree
One question that we hear quite often is about
watering requirements for containerized citrus trees. The answer depends on
several factors, but mostly location.
In Ground: **For young trees,
under one-inch (trunk caliper), water about 2 to 3 times a week during the
summer. This amounts to about five gallons of water a week. **Mature trees, more
than one-inch, require less frequent but deeper watering. Generally, older
citrus trees should be watered about every seven days, depending on the weather.
During the winter months, the trees only need to be watered during periods when
no rain has fallen for a couple of weeks. Remember - While you don't have to be
precise with the amount of water, it is imperative that the rootball is
drenched. And timely, regular watering is essential for proper growth and
fruiting of citrus.
Container Grown: Containerized citrus usually require more
attention to water than trees planted in the ground. As a general rule, watering
must be done more frequently. **Watering in most cases will need to be done 2 to
3 times a week during early to mid spring, while almost daily watering may be
required during the hot summer months. However there are some factors to
consider for the frequency of watering such as the size of the container,
exposure to wind and sun, type of soil (fast draining, slow draining, etc.) and
the outside temperature. Generally, the larger the container, the less frequent
you will have to water. Smaller containers dry out faster than larger ones. The
more wind your citrus tree is exposed to, the more water it will need. Wind can
dry out your container citrus tree quickly even if it's not a particularly warm
day. Also, depending on your soil mix you may need to adjust your watering.
Soils that drain very quickly will need to be watered more often than soils that
are heavy and retain water.
Whether your tree is in the ground or in a
container, inspect the soil at least a couple of times a week. Citrus trees do
well in moist-to-dry soil. They do not like it bone dry, nor will they prosper
in soggy soil for an extended period. If you are an absent-minded gardener,
consider a drip irrigation system and a timer.
**Assuming the tree is planted in full
southern or western sun.
Consistency is the key with Meyer Lemon Tree
watering. Trees require soil that is moist but never soggy. Watering frequency
will vary with soil porosity, tree size, and environmental factors. DO NOT
WATER IF THE TOP OF THE SOIL IS DRY WITHOUT CHECKING THE SOIL AT ROOT LEVEL!
A simple moisture meter, available at garden supply stores, will read
moisture at the root level. This inexpensive tool will allow you to never
have to guess about whether or not a plant needs water.
A wilted tree that perks up within 24 hours after watering indicates the roots
got too dry. Adjust watering schedule accordingly. A tree with yellow or cupped
leaves, or leaves that don't look perky AFTER watering can indicate excessive
watering and soggy roots. Give your tree water less often.
Citrus prefer infrequent, deep watering to frequent, shallow sprinklings.
Creating a watering basin around the tree's drip line can aid in deep watering.
Deeper watering promotes deeper root growth and strengthens your tree.
Generally, once or twice a week deep watering works well for container
specimens. Be sure to adjust based on weather conditions!
In general, it is probably best to water in the morning, but if plants are dry
or wilted it is better to water them right away than wait until morning.
Article courtesy of Adam J. Holland
Web site and all contents © Copyright MeyerLemonTree.com 2006-2012, All rights reserved.